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Pound costs to rise

Construction of Carterton’s dog pound has not yet begun. PHOTO/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

Carterton District Council’s [CDC] new dog pound is tracking to cost $229,000 more than the approved budget.

Today, councillors would be asked whether they wanted to proceed, defer, or change the project, which had an original budget of $350k in the 2019/20 Annual Plan process and an approved budget of $370k last year.

So far, construction had not begun; only groundworks and drafting of architectural plans had been completed at a cost of $46,000.

A review of the project found that contingencies and fit-out costs had not been included in the approved budget, and construction costs had risen significantly since then.

Despite council staff changing the dog pound designs to reduce the new cost estimate by $80,000, the project estimate was now $599k [inclusive of a 20 per cent contingency].

The design changes included reducing the dog pound size from 152m2 to 110m2 and removing loading bays and toilet facilities.

In a report to the council, CDC’s planning and regulatory services manager Solitaire Robertson said elected members had three options: proceed with the project as is, defer the project indefinitely, or change the design further.

Additional capital costs would be funded through reserves.

Option 1 would require an additional $229k, and would mean a building consent application could be lodged shortly.

Option 2 would defer the facility for funding in the next Long-Term Plan.

In the meantime, the existing facility would need urgent remedial work, which would cost $50,000.

The existing facility was no longer fit for purpose and did not meet the legislative requirements.

It would remain a risk until the new facility was built.

The third option was to change the pound plan further to “fit within an existing cookie-cutter style design” such as a “Totalspan building”.

This option would cost an additional $179k on top of the existing $370k budget.

Option 3 was recommended by council officers.

“If approved, staff will reset the project design and elements before submitting a building consent,” Robertson said.

“We will continue to engage with South Wairarapa District Council should they wish to participate in this animal shelter.”

Solar power would come at an additional cost of up to $47,000, and rainwater collection and filtration would cost up to $20,000.

Council staff recommended that these options be included in the facility but funded through the Government’s Three Waters Better Off grants.

CDC chief executive Geoff Hamilton said council officers were following through on their commitment to elected members “by letting them know before proceeding on a project whether it can be completed within the original proposed budget”.

“The original $350k was an estimate from 2019 for the building construction, whereas the new figure is an updated estimated which includes the fit-out and a 20 per cent contingency,” he said.

“This gives elected members the opportunity to make an informed decision before beginning construction.” — NZLDR

  • Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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